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Sony unveils slim, speedy 5MP digicam

Plus: Toshiba's other new PDA

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Digicams

Sony yesterday launched what it claims is the world's smallest five megapixel digicam. It's also one of the fastest, apparently.

The slimline Cybershot DSC-T1 measures 9.1 x 6 x 2.1cm (3.6 x 2.4 x 0.8in) and weighs 180g (6.4oz) with a memory card and battery installed. Despite its size, the camera sports a 2.5in LCD for picture preview.

Its five megapixel CCD can grab 2592 x 1944 pixel images, or take smaller pictures to make the memory go further. It can also shoot 30fps 640 x 480 video in MPEG 1 format.

Sony makes much of the camera's speed. Digicams are often slow, taking time to take, process and store the captured image. The DSC-T1 shoots can take full-size images at one second intervals and can capture four high-speed burst shots in less than two seconds, the consumer electronics giant claimed.

The camera features a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens mounted sideways to allow it to deliver a 3x optical zoom without protruding from the camera's body. The device also packs in a Memory Stick Duo slot and a USB 2.0 connector for picture downloading.

Sony also extended its Cybershot U family with the DSC-U40, a two-megapixel machine with a 1in LCD viewfinder. It too uses Memory Stick Duo cards to store piccies and video clips (160 x 112 pixels, 15fps).

The U40 measures 8.3 x 3.9 x 2.6cm (3.3 x 1.6 x 1in) and weighs 114g (4oz). It will ship in Japan next month and the US in January, for around $200. The T1 goes on sale in those territories in the same timeframes. The US price is expected to be $550. Sony UK had no information regarding UK availability or pricing at press time.

PDA

Toshiba today launched the Windows Mobile 2003-based e400 Pocket PC, described by the company as "exceptionally thin-and-light" and "value-priced".

We're not sure about the latter claim: at $299, it's pricier than the comparably spec'd $249 Dell Axim X3. The e400 manages to beat the X3 on weight: 4.6oz to the Dell's 4.8oz, but the Axim comes tops on size - just. The X3 measures 11.7 x 7.7 x 1.5 (4.6 x 3 x 0.6in), the e400 12.3 x 7.7 x 1cm (4.9 x 3 x 0.4in).

The e400 is based on an Intel XScale PXA261 running at 300MHz, and bundles 64MB of RAM (32MB more than the Dell), 16MB of Flash ROM and 32MB of Flash disk storage. It's screen is the usual 3.5in 240 x 320 transflective LCD. Expansion is provided by an SD slot.

Like the Toshiba e805, also launched today, the e400 contains software that speaks text documents, email messages, diary entries and the like out loud. The device itself can be set to respond to voice commands.

The e400 is available now from Toshiba's US web site and, as the e405, from its retail and resale channels. ®

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